AIDAN ACKERMANAssistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, SUNY College of Environmental Science and ForestrySyracuse, NY
This site is a place to share my landscape visualization research Network:            
Creating Terrain in Rhino From Contours
To begin this tutorial, you should already have AutoCAD contours

1. In Rhino, select File →  Open. Locate your AutoCAD file and click OK.

Your contour lines should show up.  Depending on whether your AutoCAD lines were assigned elevation values, you may see that contour lines are at their proper elevations.  If they do not have elevation values, you can go back and assign these values in AutoCAD and reopen it in Rhino.

4. Type PackageManager and hit Enter. Type terrainmesh in the search bar and wait until it shows the result. Select the TerrainMesh plugin and click OK.

Type TerrainMesh and hit Enter.  

6. When prompted to “Select Objects”, select the contours you wish to use. They will turn yellow when selected. Hit Enter.
(to select all the contours on one layer, use the command SelLayer and shoose the layer you want to use. )

7. You will be prompted to select a tolerance in meters.  Typically the default tolerance of 1 is good. Click OK.

8. Your progress will display as a percentage complete.  Wait for it to finish.  This may take several minutes.

9. When the process is complete, your new mesh will appear as a triangulated surface in Shaded view .

10. Changhe the view mode to Rendered to see the terrain surface more clearly.